Writing a memoir is a journey—through your memories, journals, photo albums, and family lore. Everyone who starts a memoir begins with the raw jottings of wisps of memory, fragments of conversations, and a healthy dose of “What will my family think if they read this? I want to write my truth, but I don’t want anyone to be angry or offended.”
As the memoir progresses, things become muddled with confusion:
- What goes where?
- How many memories to include?
- Who is this for, anyway?
- Do I want to publish it, and how would I do that?
- Is my memoir interesting or just a bunch of meandering thoughts?
- How can I organize it?
- What will they (fill in the blank) think about me?
These are important questions that all memoir writers have, and you need to answer each question so you can write your memoir and decide how you want to share it. A memoir is not a journal, it is a story that is meant for a reader to understand. The reader in later drafts becomes an important consideration.
But first—how to begin?
In this audio and e-workbook self-paced course you will learn:
- How to begin your memoir.
- What questions to ask and answer to help your memoir have a focus.
- How to find the all-important themes necessary for your memoir.
- How to claim your truths, and ways to conquer the inner critic.
- About creativity and writing process.
- Ways to create a plot and good story structure out of true events.
- Not to worry about the legal and ethical issues until later.
- How to edit, revise, and finish your memoir.
- Ways to get the attention of agents and larger publishers.
10. 13 tips about the publishing world that you need to know.
The downloadable audio files are divided into three separate mp3 downloads, each about an hour in length.
Audio Part I: How to Begin—Turning Points and Structure
Audio Part II: Secrets, Lies, and Scandals—Issues with Truth and Family
Audio Part III: Getting Your Work into the World
The downloadable e-workbook offers you a place where you can work out the questions you have about writing your memoir, who is it for, where is it located, what are your turning points—the significant moments you need to include—a memoir is a focused story that does not include your whole life. As you work through the exercises, your questions will become clearer and you will get a focus on what you are doing, who your audience is, and where you need to go next.
Of course, all memoir writers have to deal with the consequences of putting truth on the page for others to read, but at the beginning, we should keep our work private so we are telling OUR story, so we can hear and know our own truths. Then we can deal with the family. Still, most memoir writers are going to be telling stories that no one else knows—perhaps they are secrets, perhaps there were scandals and lies that permeated the family, and you are the first one to tell the tale. This is part of what it means to write a memoir—whether for yourself or others—a place where you can sort out the truths of your life, a place where you can find your own voice.
Getting published and birthing a memoir can seem daunting, but the project can be broken down into learnable parts. The exercises and questions in part three can help you feel more confident about your dreams, choices, and finally having a memoir you can be proud of!